White Sox have safety and numbers
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org May 10, 2012 11:22PM
Chris Sale. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
PLAYERS ON DISABLED LIST (2002-11)
AL teams No. Days
White Sox 84 3,527
Seattle 129 7,953
Tampa Bay 133 6,944
Detroit 138 9,216
Minnesota 141 7,157
New York 142 9,472
Toronto 145 7,337
Oakland 148 8,099
Los Angeles 151 8,247
Cleveland 151 8,258
Baltimore 160 10,532
Kansas City 169 9,886
Boston 173 8,294
Texas 217 12,240
Updated: June 12, 2012 8:25AM
Picture this: If something showed up on the MRI that was taken on Chris Sale’s elbow Thursday — the results will be made known Friday — it won’t be business as usual for White Sox pitchers.
Maybe that’s why Sale’s elbow, which has sent him to the bullpen from the rotation — at least temporarily — has the Sox’ chain of command acting all skittish lately.
The Sox and pitching coach Don Cooper are especially proud of two long-term numbers that reflect their health-care and pitching operations at 35th and Shields: The Sox lead the majors in quality starts under Cooper’s watch since 2003, and they have put players on the disabled list 84 times, the fewest total in the majors, from 2002 to 2011.
Alejandro De Aza (.285) is exceeding expectations as a leadoff hitter. His 17 walks, second on the team, have boosted his on-base percentage to .369. Through Wednesday, De Aza was third in the American League with 24 runs scored, and he’s slugging .455 with three home runs, two triples and eight doubles.
Two sides to the running game
De Aza’s five stolen bases in six attempts reflect the Sox’ improved running game. They are 23-for-32 stealing, compared to 18-for-36 at this point last season. The defense also has improved. A.J. Pierzynski and Tyler Flowers have thrown out 10 of 17 after the Sox were among the worst in throwing out runners.
Searching for his comeback club
If Adam Dunn (10 homers, 25 RBI) and Jake Peavy (4-1, 1.89 ERA) weren’t dominating early Comeback Player of the Year discussions, they’d be chatting up right fielder Alex Rios (.286, 12 RBI), too. Or if Rios was hitting more home runs.
‘‘I’m not a home-run hitter, but I can drive the ball,’’ said Rios, who is stuck on one homer after averaging 18 his last six seasons.
Rios’ 10th-inning triple, his second of the season, in Cleveland on Tuesday was one of the Sox’ biggest hits of the year.
19,912 Average attendance for 14 home dates, down 2,657 from last season.
5-9 Sox’ record at home, where they were worse (36-45) than on the road (43-38) last season.
2 Number of Sox who attended the Weird Al Yankovic (right) show in Detroit. They deserved a night out: Addison Reed has not allowed a run and has two saves, and Will Ohman has held lefties to a .160 average.